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Avista and partners wrapping up successful in-home energy audit pilot program for Spokane County homeowners
August 3 deadline for registering for audit; reduced cost energy efficiency loan program will continue

July 27, 2012: Homeowners in unincorporated areas of Spokane County and in the City of Spokane have until August 3 to sign-up for Avista’s professional in-home energy audit, costing as low as $49. After that date, federal funding will end for the two-year pilot program that provides specific recommendations to help Spokane County homeowners make informed decisions about actions they can take to save energy.
 
The pilot program is a partnership between Avista, Spokane County and the cities of Spokane and Spokane Valley. The three local governments support the audit program with Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds each received in 2010 from the US Department of Energy. Avista manages the in-home energy audit program and has matched funding from its program partners to help reduce the cost of the audit for Avista customers and as part of the company’s long-standing commitment to energy efficiency. Available funding for residents in the city of Spokane Valley has already been exhausted.
 
Under the program, certified auditors conduct a physical inspection of a home and its major appliances. The auditors also perform a series of diagnostic tests to uncover areas of heat loss or gain. Windows, doors, insulation, furnace, ducts and vents are checked as part of the comprehensive audit. Results and recommendations are provided in a written follow-up report. Homeowners also receive an energy efficiency kit with weatherization items, CFL bulbs and low-flow showerheads.  
 
Joe Brabeck, Avista’s energy audit program manager, said the program has been very successful with high satisfaction from the over 1,800 participants who received the audit valued at over $400.
 
“Residents who received an energy audit through the pilot program have been pleased with the information, advice and materials the audits provide. About 18 percent of Avista customers receiving an audit have taken the next step of implementing the recommended improvements that qualify for an energy efficiency rebate,” Brabeck said.
 
In addition to helping residents know the most effective energy efficiency improvements that can be made to their respective homes, the in-home energy audit pilot program also created jobs, infusing an estimated $500,000 into Spokane County’s economy.  
 
“Ten new temporary home energy auditors were employed for the two-year pilot program with more than 25 individuals receiving training leading to a Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) professional certification. These are skills that can transfer to other positions and that will continue to benefit our community,” Brabeck said.
 
Reduced Cost Loan Program
Reduced cost loans for energy efficiency improvements will continue to be available to any qualified residential or commercial gas or electric customers of Avista in Washington. Participating lenders include Numerica Credit Union, Spokane Teachers Credit Union, and SNAP Financial Access.
 
Sustainable Resources INW, an educational non-profit, is the loan coordinator and acts as a liaison between the customer, the lenders and Avista. For more information about the loan program visit: http://sustainableresourcesinw.org/energy_efficiency_loan_program.html
 
For information on Avista’s in-home energy audit program and to sign-up for an audit, visit www.avistautilities.com. Mailed applications must be postmarked by midnight August 3 and online applications must be submitted by midnight.
 
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 360,000 customers and natural gas to 321,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million.  Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.avistautilities.com.
 
The Avista logo is a trademark of Avista Corporation.

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